WONDER-WORKING BY HYPNOTISM 103
"Monsieur! I shall be perfectly frank with you. We really know nothing of the mysterious forces which cause the phenomena of hypnotism. Nevertheless, we understand the technique which can produce these phenomena and we know under what conditions success or failure will result.
"We have discovered that there resides in all persons a certain kind of force which we call magnetic influence, and that in some persons—as myself—this influence is so strongly developed that it can be used to affect others in the remarkable manner you have witnessed. On the other hand, it requires for its action people who are naturally receptive to it, who yield up their wills with the least resistance. When I discovered my own power I set out to strengthen it, until it reached the point you see to-day. And it was only by constant experiment with Madame Marguerite that we were able eventually to perform these feats. At first it took a long time to induce in her the hypnotized condition, only by continuous effort and experience I have succeeded in' reducing the time to a few minutes.
"What happens when she is in that condition? She becomes a kind of somnambulist, a sleep-walker," he explained, "so that even if you were to fire off a pistol it would not awaken her from the semi-trance. The Doctors Preyer and Berger, who were able to make special studies of the cases of sleep-walkers, found that such persons could see quite well with their eyelids shut while in the somnambulic state. This mysterious condition proves that consciousness can be divided and that what psychologists call the subconscious mind does exist. And it appears, from our demonstrations, that this subconscious is very clairvoyant and untrammelled by the bonds of matter. It is then able to do with the body what the person in a conscious state believes impossible. This shows that our belief in limitations is a false one, and that we are all capable of much more than we think. Hypnotism frees the subject of such handicapping notions."
"What is your theory to explain Madame Marguerite's reading the book through sealed bandages?"
"I merely say that we dare not set limits to the powers of the subconscious, and that clairvoyance seems to be one of its natural faculties. In other words, the subconscious has its own powers of seeing, hearing and feeling, and is not dependent on the physical organs, such as the eyes and ears, for its